Neglected tools for neglected diseases
Turner, H. C., Walker, M., French, M. D., Blake, I. M., Churcher, T. S., & Basáñez, M-G. (2014). Neglected tools for neglected diseases: Mathematical models in economic evaluations. Trends in Parasitology, 30(12), 562-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.pt.2014.10.001
Despite many current interventions against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) being highly cost-effective, new strategies are needed to reach the WHO's control and elimination goals. Here we argue for the importance of incorporating economic evaluations of new strategies in decisions regarding resource allocation. Such evaluation should ideally be conducted using dynamic transmission models that capture inherent nonlinearities in transmission and the indirect benefits ('herd effects') of interventions. A systematic review of mathematical models that have been used for economic analysis of interventions against the ten NTDs covered by the London Declaration reveals that only 16 out of 49 studies used dynamic transmission models, highlighting a fundamental--but addressable--gap in the evaluation of interventions against NTDs.